The myth of the Hatchet Lady, Old Town Albuquerque

For the story, check out the video below.



After reading several comments about this myth on YouTube, I decided to write a little bit about this particular "ghost" since I was one of the narrators in the video and SGHA was the original entity that investigated and researched this story.

There are several important pieces of information that hit the editing room floor. First of all, both Bob and I explicitly stated that the story is nothing more than a myth. In fact, we tried to talk the Travel Channel out of filming that location and choosing another because of this.

While there is evidence that a man was attacked with a garden hoe behind the Springer barn and that it was a domestic dispute, there is no evidence of a murder taking place there. So the story eventually became a distorted myth. After Lizzy Borden did her thing, the garden hoe was turned into a hatchet. Honeymoon row used to be near this area so it became a folktale that men would tell their sweethearts. Its not haunted. It never was.

From further historical research we now know that the family names presented in the video are incorrect. The Armijo’s were a prominent family and if the myth were true there would have been something recorded in the media sources at the time. There is nothing except for a blurb about the garden hoe assault.
It is also important to note that there are allot of Hatchet Ladies out there. It is a popular myth!

There is one in Illinois

Yet another in Illinois at Moon Point Cemetery

One in Red Rocks Colorado

Another in Golden Colorado

Yet another in Buie park Texas

Then there is the Arbor Hill Hatchet Lady in Albany NY

and yet another in Newberry Springs, CA

Getting the point yet? It’s only a myth. No ghost.

2 thoughts on “The myth of the Hatchet Lady, Old Town Albuquerque

    • “There is no evidence that her eyes are black”

      Part of the problem with the ghost tour is that the guides that actually interviewed witnesses and did the research are no longer there and their knowledge went with them. As I have already stated, it’s a myth and there is no one actually seeing anything. The black eyes thing would be much like the hatchet, a creation to make the story spookier. However, I will give you some more information and tell you our source for the “black eyes”.

      I was doing a tour on night in 2003. On the tour was an elderly gentleman in his 90’s (I think his name was Sherman). I had just finished the Hatchet Lady story when he remarked that I had forgotten the part about the bloody handprint. Curious, I asked him what he was referring to.

      He said that he was raised in Old Town and was familiar with the Hatchet Lady story. However he remembers a slightly different angle to it. Back then, the Hatchet lady did not run around attacking lovers. In fact, she was often forbearer of warning. If a couple really wanted to see if their relationship was bound for a good marriage, they would go to honeymoon row, near the rear of the barn. Once there, they would recite her name (Hatchet Lady) nine times. On the ninth time she would appear behind the couple. If the marriage would work, she would leave a bloody handprint on the back of the girls, as a warning to keep an eye on their future husbands. If it was doomed, she would scratch the back of the boys. If nothing happened, then the outcome of the marriage was uncertain. There was just one rule however. The couple could not turn around or they would be cursed by the Hatchet Lady.

      Sherman remembered this well as one evening , when he was 12 years old, his older brother paid him a nickel (“Which was allot of money back then”) to hide out behind the barn with a leather work glove and a gallon of red paint. His brother was bringing his sweetheart and when they were in position, Sherman was supposed to sneak up and apply the “bloody handprint” on the back of his brother’s girlfriend. After waiting for what seemed to be hours, Sherman was about to give up when he turned around to find a goat’s head right in his face. He screamed and ran. Of course he did admit that it was probably just a goat that had escaped its pen but back then he was really frightened by it.

      Realizing that I had a direct source for the myth I pressed Sherman for details. He told me that that people described her as wearing a while bloody dress with eyes that were solid black (because she had no soul). She was also a bruja (witch) and could shape shift in several animal forms (thus the reason he got frighten by the goat and how she could curse the couples that turned to look at her).

      Of course I put all of this information out during my interview for the TV show but it didn’t make it into the final cut. I agree with you, they did “Hollywood” the piece to make it scary.

      Thanks for commenting!

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